Wow, this place is just WOW! You’ve probably heard many people saying “This is the best sushi restaurant in Tokyo” and they are right. There are many “best” sushi places in Tokyo and Matsukan is for sure one of them.
Matsukan, a small restaurant in Azabujuban, is a gem, and I’m very thankful to my friend Jennifer for taking me there during my last trip to Tokyo. You can’t see the inside from the street, as is often the case in Japan. There are no windows, only a wooden sliding door and a tōrō (granite lantern) on the sidewalk. Only 15 people can sit at the counter at once, and there is a table for four on the side. There are at least 4 people working behind the counter; each chef takes care of four to five people. For American standards, this is a tiny restaurant; for French standards, it’s a small one, and for Japanese standards, it’s a normal, even big restaurant.
When people arrive they are welcome with the traditional cry of “irashaimase” by everyone working in the restaurant. The place is extremely clean and the staff very pleasant. Our chef, Kagu Tsume, was particularly smiley and charming. He was very caring with us.
The fresh fish is neatly exposed behind a glass counter, showing the variety they offer. Being so close to the chefs and see them working with such agility is very impressive! Sushi is not only about a piece of raw fish lying on cooked rice, there is a whole mastering process behind every little bite you put in the mouth.
Fatty tuna or Toro sushi
When we arrived, we ordered the drinks, and we were barely seated when the sushi parade started. I highly recommend the counter; the sushi or dishes are served one by one, as is traditionally the case, and every time, the chef says the name of the fish. The chef waits until the dish is empty to serve the next one.
I can’t tell you how many dishes we had, nor the names of all the fish we ate, but I can tell you for sure, we were completely stuffed and satisfied at the end of the dinner. I was absolutely fascinated by the variety of fish and the high quality. A succession of colorful dishes strut on the counter in front of me: a feast for my eyes and taste buds!
I had a very good time at Matsukan. It’s not only about outstanding food, but there is also a friendly exchange between the chefs and their clients. And when someone leaves the restaurant, the whole staff energetically shouts : “arigato gozaimasu, mata kondo kite kudasai”.
It’s a set menu, but if there are things you don’t eat, just tell the chef. If there is something in particular you want to order, the chef will prepare it if possible without any extra charge.
As per my friend’s request, we ordered a special preparation with nattou. It’s usually not my favorite; it’s a stinky slimy paste. But the chef prepared it with salmon roe with some kind of white fish and other ingredients; it was so incredibly good!
Preparation with nattou
The baked clam with uni (sea urchin) was absolutely to die for!
If you are living or going to Tokyo, don’t miss Matsukan! It’s ¥10.000 (80€ or $90) for a dinner set-menu. It’s a very good deal for this kind of restaurant.
Japanese omelette or Tamago
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With chef Kagu Tsume!
3-4-12 Azabujuban, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture